Now, this may sound like an anti-man rant, and while it is a bit of a bitch-sesh aimed at blokes, I am only commenting on what I hope is a small section of the male heterosexual population.
There’s something that they do that makes my blood go cold. Then boil.
Groaning quietly – in a sleazy, sexual way. Or making whispered sexually suggestive comments like “that’s nice” or “yeahhhh”. All within centimetres of me in a public place, but so it can only be heard by me. So it’s just you and he that knows anything has even been said. I can’t stand it! No, scrub that, I r e a l l l l l y hate it!!!
Does this happen to any other women? I’ve had this conversation with girlfriends recently and while a couple have identified the unwanted attention, others have luckily not yet experienced it.
A recent brush with this shameful practice a month or so ago made me so annoyed my teenage daughter knew something was wrong despite my protests that everything was fine. Deciding I may as well educate her about the likes of some men in the community, I told her my story and was shocked at how shocked she was that this sort of disrespectful behaviour goes on. I felt a little bad about telling her how it really is – destroying innocence is not one of my hobbies.
And then, as if on cue, it happened to me while I was standing in line with both teenage daughters to pay a restaurant bill. A father we’d seen at a table nearby us sitting with his wife and child, grazed past me in the line and moaned. But this time, someone else heard it – my other, younger daughter. She was incredulous and just looked at me with her jaw agape, followed quickly by a “eewwwww, did you hear that mum?”
The first time I witnessed this particular behaviour was probably 25 years ago, I was a naive young woman, just starting out in life. I was totally shocked and couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I started to think maybe I’d imagined it or, against my better judgement, I’d done something to deserve it.
It left me feeling powerless. And dirty. Not because of anything I’d done – apart from being female. I felt I’d been taken advantage of by a complete coward and I couldn’t do a bloody thing about it!
It’s happened several times over the years, leaving me with the same “used” feeling – by the time it’s happened the offending male has walked on by and it would, to use a good Aussie term, take a lot of guts to turn around, walk back to him and pass on a piece of my incensed mind. I guess that’s why they do it.
Well, when it happened again last week, now that I’m in my early 40s and my sense of outrage has a life of its own, I reacted.
And it felt r e a l l l l l y good.
Walking past several people leaving a train station as I walked in to meet a girlfriend, a bloke walking past me uttered “that’s niiiice”, leaving me feeling, as usual, shithouse. But I just internally shook my head and continued on my puzzled way looking like nothing untoward had happened.
But coming out of the train station, the offending 35-45-year-old man, complete with ill-fitting singlet, boardies, thongs, unattractive but preened facial hair and bikie-style sunglasses, was waiting for his ride while constructing a roll-your-own (health-conscious as well).
You know what it’s like when your brain goes through an entire thought process in a nanosecond and your mouth has already opened and the words have already poured out?
Before I could say “ugly, stupid, bogan arsehole” I looked at him and said “Just so you know, that’s not nice”. (yes, there was a double meaning there – his comment was not nice, but quite frankly, neither was he – I wouldn’t touch him with a boudoir whip!)
He shook his abominable head and held his empty hands as if to say, “what are you talking about”. But we both knew.
I wonder if he has a daughter, or a wife, girlfriend, mother or sister? I wonder if he’ll ever consider how they would feel if a man (term used loosely) did that to them? I doubt it, his behaviour illustrates a distaste for women. But there is a slim chance. Perhaps, if he has any conscience, he’ll only do it one or two more times before it makes him feel too uncomfortable and his questionable ‘mojo’ deserts him.
I doubt whether he’ll share the experience with any of his mates, not wanting to appear bested by the ‘fairer’ sex, but maybe young women like my daughters won’t have to experience the dreadful feeling that maybe men really are just dickheads.
I can’t tell you if I’ll open my big mouth next time it happens. But if you’re a woman, and this happens to you, maybe consider your options. We do have them.
Pic Credit: salzdummyspit.com